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January 12, 2017

Ripe History at Pine Isle

Photo of employee stocking shelf at Pine Isle Market on Lanai.
Photo of employee stocking shelf at Pine Isle Market on Lanai.

Pine Isle Market is a general store that has served the Lanai community for decades.

Hawaii’s traditional general stores are a rare treasure, and a legacy of the tight-knit community created by plantation families many years ago. Pine Isle Market is among these classic “everything” stores that continue to serve the Lanai community.

Sixty-five years ago, Isamu Honda, Chiuki Matsuura, and three others founded the general store to meet the daily needs of plantation workers. Matsuura and Honda were both avid fisherman, and Matsuura was a skilled butcher. The two friends eventually became the sole owners of the shop and offered a wide variety of goods to their customers.

One Stop Shop for Residents and Visitors

Kerry Honda, current president of Pine Isle Market and Isamu’s son, knows the value of a one stop shop, and strives to offer groceries, sundries and daily household goods for Lanai residents and visitors alike.

Wander the aisles of the market and you’ll discover:

  • Breakfast staples like milk and cereal
  • Fresh produce and herbs
  • Rows of fishing tackle and equipment
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Seasonal and holiday items
  • Much more

Special Orders and Special Events

Pine Isle market has a history of bringing customers what they need, as well as introducing new products and services to the island. In the early years, the store sold television sets, major appliances and even processed film. Over time, needs have changed, but if you take the time to look around, you might notice that Pine Isle caters to life on Lanai, and if you need something they don’t have, just ask and they will do everything they can to bring it in.

For example, Pine Isle offers bulk orders for catered foods, including island favorites such as chocolate meat and pork butt by the pound. Pine Isle staff will also work with you to place special orders from Costco for large family gatherings, but recommends calling a few weeks ahead to place bulk orders that are brought over on the barge.

Fisherman’s Paradise

Pine Isle offers the largest supply of fishing gear on the island. In addition to fishing tackle, you can find fishing poles, spear guns and slings. Like other old school Hawaii general stores, Pine Isle boasts an unofficial fishing “hall of fame” – a store wall papered with aging photographs of local fishermen with their prize catches.

A Family Business

Kerry knows the staff of Pine Isle Market is what makes this family business so special. Kerry’s wife Cindy, and daughter Corie, are key players in the operations and management of the store.

Pine Isle also employs six full-time and seven part-time employees, who are all cross-trained and knowledgeable about the business and its products. Many workers at Pine Isle have been with the store for several years. Kerry and his staff hope to continue to serve the community in the same way they have for so many years.

Be sure to stop by and say “hello” to the Honda ohana when you can. The store is open seven days a week with new Sunday hours.

Monday – Saturday: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Sunday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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